Instance day for the alts

I went ahead and respecced my Shaman to Resto and joined Greatjohn (Bear Tank) and Magnu (Ice Mage) - the alts of Claz and Ariki, I've mentioned them before - and Mishandala (Moonkin) and Kariki (Rogue) on their 70s for the daily instance, Arcatraz.

Now, my resto gear wasn't all the great and I was specced Elemental. So, I spent an hour or so grabbing some gear, enchanting it as much as I could, getting some elixirs and potions and visiting the trainer to get myself ready to go. Arcatraz gave us some issues and we wiped a bunch of times while I learned the Shaman style of healing and some of the others honed their characters. We pushed through, clearing out the instance with the exception of Zereketh the Unbound. We just couldn't seek to get that one down, not really sure why.

We jumped over to Botanica to down the first boss, Commander Sarannis, for a quest objective that some had. We were still feeling okay about ourselves and decided that Mechanar looked like a good place to go next. So, after a quick break, in we went to get the key from Pathaleon. And after some issues we did just that. Again, we just couldn't get Nethermance Sepethrea to die and give up her loot.

It was a lot of fun to be running instances with my guildmates and friends again. It wasn't super smooth, but many of us were learning new class playstyles and upgrading our gear for future runs. The rustiness was evident in the early part of the day and got better as we went along. I got a number of good drops that are upgrades for both my Elemental and Restoration sets. So, I am back to healing again - I actually do enjoy it.


We had one of "those" PuGs

Yeah - you know the one. It was for the Brewfest Boss, Coren Direbrew, and the hope of some trinkets and kodo, (kodos, kodoes - what is the plural of kodo?).

A little background on our setup is in order. I took my Druid. Even though I was currently specced as feral for tanking, I put on my healing set which still gave me 1675 healing or so. I have healed this fight with this spec and gear a number of times already so I knew it would be fine. Ariki and Claz decided to take their alts along to get them some goodies and I though everything would be okay with that - it should have been.

Ariki is our main tank Prot warrior - he brought his 70 Ice Mage. This mage is decent, a few instance runs along the way, not geared to the teeth but passable.

Claz is our main Hunter - he brough his feral tank Druid. This toon has been a 70 for only a few days and he's still gearing it up, but has the Clefthoof set, Staff of Slumber and some other pieces and I thought I could heal him okay.

We PuGged in a fire mage and a rogue of some flavor. The mage said he had done the fight before but the rogue had not. No big deal, the rest of us had done it and I felt good about it. Let's get some loot!

No so fast. We start the event - I don't remember who - and the Bear goes in and starts to grab aggro. Before he can establish a solid threat lead the rogue unloads and pulls aggro from our bear and is promptly dead. Crap. The fire mage decides to start hitting the non elite spawns and they came after him and...dead. These guys went down quick. Okay - just the Limited Warranty guys left, and I tried to keep Greatjohn going but we were behind the 8-ball and wiped.

We try again. Almost a carbon copy of the first time with the same results.

So we decide to swap in Ariki and Claz and I do a little inspecting while we wait for them to get the mains. The fire mage is wering mostly Merciless gear that has no gems in the sockets...really? I asked him why and he said he didn't have any to put in there. Wow. I mentioned this in guild chat and got the response of "eBay?". I laughed.

Meanwhile the rogue is berating me and asking why I'm not in Tree of Life. So I explain that I'm feral specced for tanking and wearing my healing gear. Suddenly I become the reason for the wipes - "Our healer is DPS spec, no wonder we are wiping". What should I expect from a rogue name Eviscarape? So next attempt I clear Recount to have a good picture of what is happening. One again the rogue is down within a minute and we do wipe, but It's a much better attempt. I post the Recount showing DPS and the rogue drops group.

We brought in a raiding geared 'lock and kicked his Coren's ass on all following attempts. Of course, the trinkets that dropped were useless to the people there or they already had them - no mounts. I did get the Dark Brewmaiden though to go with my Direbrew Hops and Smoking Pipe from the previous attempts.

I rellay would like the guys to get their alts in to get some goodies, but it wasn't to be on that night.


Things to do before Wrath

Lately it seems that everyone is posting something along these lines and I think I'll follow their lead. There are a few things I'd still like to do before Wrath, some are to help me out in the new content, some are achievements and some are just for fun. So these are the things I want to do with my Northrend bound cows. Namenivob will be staying behind for now.

1. Max out professions - Bumwaller is maxed, Okole needs a little bit of work in leatherworking, cooking and fishing.
2. Get to Exalted with Shattered Sun and Aldor - Done on Bum, Okole is working on it.
3. 500G per character - got that easily covered right now.
4. Get all gear enchanted/gemmed - This is all set for my primary specs, but I want to get the off spec sets finished up and ready for early instance runs.
5. Bank some quests for quick XP when the expansion is released - still debating on this, but it could be a nice jump toward 71.
6. Epic Flight - Bum has is, Okole doesn't. It won't be available for use in Northrend until 77, but I'm thinking I want to spend the money now while I have it and not have to worry about it later.
7. Brewfest mounts and bosses - might as well get the trinkets and mounts that are available during the holiday season. Also, acheivements to obtain.
8. Hallow's End events and bosses - more loot and possible acheivements.

That's all I can think of right now - but there is probably more.


WoW - just wow!

A number of usually reliable sources are reporting (with huge graphical ads on the front page) that the release date for Lich King will be November 13, 2008. WoWHead and Thottbot both are showing the ad as the basis for their homepages. EDIT - This has been confirmed by Blizzard at their site.

I am shocked at the announcement, not because of the date which we all seemed to think would be around that time, but because I expected this announcement at Blizzcon. So now what is the big thing at Blizzcon? An announcement about something new maybe?

I guess now will be the time for me to grind out some rep and collect recipes and finish leveling up my tradeskills. I don't see the point in trying to collect gear that will probably be replaced by questing, and I don't raid much so I don't worry about the tier tokens.

We should also get a big content patch in before Wrath, so probably early to mid October, that will revamp our talent trees and refund all talent points. That will take so trial and error to get a spec that I want to go into Wrath with on two different toons. We have discussed maybe doing some Shadow Labs or Magisters Terrace runs with new specs to see how things are looking and where we might need to make changes. That should give us someting to do to fill our idle hours.

I'm still torn over whether to try to get the epic flyer for the Shaman or wait until I can use it in Northrend. We'll see how much I want to fly fast as I do dailies over the next 2 months.


I got a beta key!

Yes - you read that right. I got an invite to the Lich King beta in my email this morning and I'm on my way to downloading the client and all the patches. I'll report back when I actually get it installed. Now if only that new laptop would get here...


playing as Feral

I did some grinding on Elemental Plateau to try to get my kitty DPS rotations in line. It was pretty interesting to see the big DPS crits and my gear isn't even all that great. The only downfall is that elementals are immune to bleed effects, so Mangle was not nearly as effective as it could have been.

I also tanked Vanndar in a recent Alterac Valley match, that was a lot of fun. Kinda hard to keep him focused on me though with all the other DPS going crazy around me. I also tanked two of the NPCs a the aid station while they were burned down by the DPS. We won the battleground and it was exciting, definately a different than when I heal the group.

I just downloaded Rawr and I'm going to try that out and see what it does for me. I've heard a lot of people saying good things about. If I can make it work and it seems pretty decent, I'll try to write a bit about it in the future.


OPERATION: Feral Respec

Still very much a work in progress, but I'm going to try my hand at tanking 5-man content.

I've skipped most of the feral rewards as I leveled, so gearing up is proving to be a bit of a challenge. I made the Heavy Clefthoof set with my Shaman, so that cover chest, legs and feet. I picked up the Merciless Gladiator Spaulders and Gladiator gloves - only to discover the different sets don't combine the way s1, s2, s3 and s4 do (so I lost the 35 resilience bonus). I will be hitting the battlegrounds to upgrade those gloves to get the bonus. Got a Braxis Staffof Slumber, which is pretty nice. Dug out some old trinkets that have feral friendly stats.

I paid my gold, assigned talent points, equipped everything and saw the highest armor number I have ever had. It was over 15K - holy carp! and that is with no gems and no enchants, and still wearing a load of resto gear. Wow. I will work on this some more tomorrow and then...time to take it on the chin and see if I can actually lead a group through a dungeon.


Green with envy

I have to admit it, I am jealous. One of my co-workers received a Lich King beta key invite this morning in the latest round of invites.

The good news is that I will be able to see the beta very soon. He is still in the process of downloading all the required patches. I'll try to give an impression of what I am able to glimpse over his shoulder.

Lucky bastard....